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GVPT 200: International Political Relations

Resources for GVPT 200


This guide will help you identify and locate sources for your GVPT 200 short paper assignment on international relations.

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Judy Markowitz

From your syllabus:
Essay Questions: Choose One
1. Consider the global climate strikes in September 2019, which mobilized significant participation by youth around the world (including at the University of Maryland). Some consider this example of transnational activism a landmark effort to address climate change, perhaps akin to the successful “transnational advocacy networks” (TANs) described by Keck and Sikkink in the context of the Anglo-American anti-slavery movement of the 19th century. Yet others see it as unlikely to be effective at changing policy in the long term, for various reasons. What is your view?

2. The United States and Russia agreed on February 3, 2021 to extend New START, and it will now expire on February 5, 2026. The treaty imposes limits on strategic nuclear warheads and bombs (capped at 1,555 per side), and also limits on ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers assigned to nuclear missions, among other conditions. While some applaud these arms control agreements, others worry they disadvantage one country more than the other. Some argue that the US in particular should not undercut its own power, since many other countries depend on it for protection. In 2026, do you think the US and Russia should seek to extend New START once again, or not? Explain.

3. Choose one of the following countries undergoing some form of crisis: (1) Myanmar, (2) Yemen, (3) Nicaragua, (4) Ethiopia; (5) Syria; (6) Mozambique; or (7) Venezuela. Is it in the US national interest to intervene in some way (or more actively so) in the country you selected? If so, why? Be as specific as possible to describe and justify the type of intervention you recommend. If not, why not?

4. What do you think the implications of the world’s experience with COVID right now will be for international cooperation, particularly around future public health crises? Do you expect improvements in such cooperation the next time a pandemic strikes? Or do you expect little change, or even cooperation that is less effective? Explain your reasoning.

5. A US foreign policy-oriented think tank specializing in grand strategy has asked you to analyze one of the following potential regional hegemons: China, Russia, or Iran. They want you to predict the future of US relations with the country, focusing specifically on how likely you think it is that—over the next 20 years—the country in question will adopt friendlier, more pro-US policies and behaviors on the world stage.

6. A major question facing the new US administration is the question of the Iran deal. Drawing from research and theory on international relations theory, as well as additional research on Iran, do you think the US should rejoin the Iran nuclear deal (and if so, should it attempt to impose new conditions)? Explain why or why not.